Live review from Planetrox China 中國 Final 2013:


1. Settle From Cradle

2. The First Filth

3. Dromos Home

The first band on were all-local metal band Synergy, with their slightly-alternative, thrashy, screamy metal. They are a somewhat unusual animal in that they have a diminutive female singer, innocent-sounding speaking voice and all, who does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to screaming; there is little to no singing in their songs. What’s rarer is that she pulls it off – she’s good at it, and it’s consistent. They have solid musicians in their band – their drummer in particular, who pulls off double bass pedalling, and has interesting and unexpected fills to add in most areas of songs which are fairly standard metal. Their guitarist too is good, and while fulfilling the typical requirements to play thrash, being very shreddy, and having the requisite beard, also sometimes adds an atmosphere of 7 Year Bitch or Alice in Chains-style creepiness, and can do a bit of the Kirk Hammett-style elastic solos with a touch of emotion to top up the technical display. This was particularly so in Dromos Home, where they almost sounded like a mix of Seaweed and Soundgarden at points, and Peter Frampton-like at others; the song in general was a long-form song, done quite well. However, their other two songs let them down a bit. While Settle From Cradle started off sounding a bit like Second Hand by 7 Year Bitch, they are too true-to-type to be of much interest as of now. To put it simply, there simply isn’t enough there to differentiate themselves from the many other metal bands that play; there’s a lot of noodling, heavy bass, headbanging, soaring guitars, but not enough style. However, I should stress that this is the case as of now.

There is, however, plenty to suggest that they will get better with experience; aside from everything I’ve already mentioned, they have a crucial thing going in their favour in that they are able to maintain a connection between different sections of one song that goes beyond just calling them by the same name. Metal songs typically have sections of different speeds and rhythms; a problem I frequently find with bands, from anywhere really, is that very often these sections don’t sound like they stem from the same song. Synergy, however, does not do this, and have learnt to construct sections so that they sound similar enough to maintain an audible sense of continuity. This is why I am hopeful that they will soon develop into a better band, because they already seem to have a knack for writing songs holistically. I’m sure if they find their groove they will be huge on the scene

— Shashwati Kala

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Performances by Synergy: